On December 6, the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee heard testimony on S. 1770, the Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act.
The Act would settle the remaining water rights claims of the Hualapai Tribe (In 2014, the Bill Williams Water Rights Settlement Act settled the Tribe’s claims in the Bill Williams watershed). The Act provides 4,000 acre-feet of CAP water, authorizing construction of a water project for the delivery of that water.
Those testifying at the hearing included the Honorable Damon Clarke, Chairman of the Hualapai Nation; Tom Buschatzke, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources; and Alan Mikkelsen, Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Director Buschatzke, in both his written and verbal testimony, highlighted the importance of the Settlement to both the Tribe and the State of Arizona, and provided answers to questions raised by the Bureau. The hearing was for information purposes only and a formal vote has not been scheduled.
S. 1770 was introduced on September 7, 2017, and is sponsored by U.S. Sens Jeff Flake and John McCain. The CAWCD Board voted to support the agreement in June of 2016 when a similar bill was introduced in the last Congress, and the Board reaffirmed its support this year when S. 1770 was introduced.